Equipped

Mud season in the mountains of the Northeast begins as the snow melts and the landscape and trails turn soggy. Depending on the elevation, weather, snowpack, and region, it can stretch anywhere from March through June, with the greater heights of northern New England and New York experiencing the worst of it in May and…

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‘Tis the season to strap on giant snow-stomping footwear and take on the wintry backcountry. If you’re buying a new pair—or upgrading or adding to your existing collection—here are two excellent snowshoes from MSR to consider. (If you’re new to snowshoeing, it can be useful to first brush up on the basics, including snowshoe terminology…

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Introduced in 2016, Vibram’s Arctic Grip technology is designed to provide extra traction and grip on slick, wet ice, making it a top contender for winter footwear this year. Integrated into the rubber sole underfoot, it does indeed work, as I detailed two winters ago in my product review of the Merrell Overlook 6 Ice+…

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The dark season is upon us when day fades into inky night long before most people leave work, and that means it’s all the more important for bikers to be as visible as possible to passing motorists. I’ve written at length about the various high-visibility items (and colors) that I recommend for cycling—bright is life, after…

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I bike commute 28 miles most workdays year-round and have been doing it now for more than six years almost entirely on the same bike, a 2010 REI Novara Randonee touring bike. At this point I estimate that my go-to ride now has somewhere north of 20,000 miles on it, so it needs some regular…

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Picaridin hit the U.S. market in 2005 as an alternative to DEET, the long-time (since 1946) champion of keeping insects at bay. As I wrote back in 2012 (Picaridin vs. DEET: Which Is the Best Insect Repellent?), the evidence at the time indicated that picaridin is at least as good a repellent as DEET. What’s…

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If you’re hiking with kids, the single most important thing you can do is ensure they have fun, enjoy the experience, and continue on a path of  loving the outdoors. Having a few key items of gear can help with that goal, while keeping them safe at the same time. Here are seven things I…

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Having the means and ability to make an emergency fire is an essential survival skill. It requires two key items: something that generates a spark or flame, and tinder to catch the spark or flame and start your fire. For the latter, I have long recommended Vaseline-coated cotton balls (though a variety of other pre-made…

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There comes a point when insect repellent just doesn’t cut it. Sometimes the biting bugs are just too thick and ferocious to deal with, whether it’s a swarm of black flies, mosquitoes, no-see-ums, or some other collection of flying blood-sucking micro-monsters. Even if you’re using enough insect repellent to keep them from biting, it can…

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It’s one of the most useful and versatile items I throw in my pack: a length of lightweight, all-purpose cord. From guylines to clotheslines, shoe laces to dog leashes, it’s remarkable how many different uses you can find for this simple, inexpensive item. Also amazing is the number of different types of cord available. Here’s…

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